Hamas has imposed another Islamic ruling on Gazans, ordering women's beauty salons to employ only females.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported Monday that five male hairdressers were arrested and forced to sign a declaration saying they would not work at women's salons.
Hamas has attempted to enforce such a law in the past, but relented after protests by human rights groups. The new prohibition joins others in the same vein, such as the ban against women smoking hookah pipes, and riding behind men on motorbikes.
Two weeks ago Hamas's interior ministry also banned two books by Egyptian and Syrian authors, claiming that they go against Muslim law. The censorship led to an outcry against the harming of freedom of speech.
But Hamas also made a positive step recently, when its culture minister announced his ministry was no longer opposed to the opening of movie theaters. The last operating movie theater in Gaza was shut down 23 years ago.
"We believe art is part of the foundation of every culture, and we encourage film festivals and other festivals as well," Ossama al-Issawi said. However, he added, no applications have been submitted for the opening of such a theater.
In addition, al-Issawi stressed, any theater that does open will be subject to inspections by his ministry, which has been charged with maintaining Muslim ethics.
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